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Charges against Detroit mayor another blow for city

Despite counts of perjury, misconduct, and other felonies, Kilpatrick seems determined to remain in office.

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Add Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to the recently growing list of public officials brought low by extramarital behavior.

Mayor Kilpatrick, who was formally charged Monday with eight felony charges including perjury, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, and misconduct in office, has been embroiled in scandal since the Detroit Free Press broke news of romantic text messages between him and his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, two months ago.

The issue isn't the affair the two were apparently having five years ago, but the fact that Kilpatrick allegedly had three police officers fired for an investigation that might have uncovered the affair, and then lied under oath when questioned in a lawsuit brought by the officers last summer. He later convinced the City Council to approve an $8.4 million settlement with the officers, apparently to prevent the text messages from being released.

"Let me be very clear," said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in announcing the charges. "This was not an investigation focused on lying about sex.... Our investigation has clearly shown that public dollars were used, people's lives were ruined, the justice system was severely mocked, and the public trust trampled on. This case is about as far from being a private matter as one can get."

Despite the formal indictment, and a nonbinding resolution that the Detroit City Council passed last week calling on him to resign, Kilpatrick seems determined to stay in office.

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